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Live Chat Anyone; GoDaddy ditches email support.

Tue, 6th May 2014, 18:01

Although GoDaddy has made tremendous strides to enhance their image, it's safe to say they're not the world’s most beloved host. GoDaddy is like the McDonald’s of hosting. Totally ubiquitous, massively over-marketed, and with a product that generally satisfies consumers with as basic as service as they can manage.

Because there’s safety in numbers, right? GoDaddy, being one of the largest players in the game, at the very least offers all the benefits of highly funded, totally established webhosting… right? Well, not so fast. As of last month, and completely without notice to their customers, GoDaddy dropped a feature one might expect to be standard for any hosting provider: email support.

Using Twitter and other forms of direct communication with its client base, GoDaddy confirmed that email support had been phased out in favor of “better support options, such as Live Chat.” It’s a mindboggling decision, to be sure. Anyone with any familiarity with live chat support will know that it doesn’t always quite cut it when it comes to the complex issues relevant to hosting support. While email provides clear, easily accessed archives of discussion, chat relies on active participation and web browsers to work. (editor's thought.. how often has a support request been sent while running out the door.. or hitting the hay?)

The worst problem with chat, of course, is that it puts the burden on the customer. We made three attempts to contact GoDaddy via their chat feature. The first, chat was inexplicably unavailable. With no email support, we’d have to hope in that case that whatever the problem was could be resolved via the phone. The second, our estimated wait was an astonishing 50 minutes. Patiently, we awaited a support representative, who… never came. An hour passed, and we disconnected without hearing back. The third time we decided to wait until sometime late, hoping that avoiding peak hours would offer the opportunity for quicker support. We were told to brace for a brief eight minute wait, which seems pretty reasonable until you realize that’s for 1AM in the morning. Minutes ticked by, and then… Our estimated wait time is eight minutes. Okay, so that’s not that bad, something got gummed up, we can wait another… Our estimated wait time is ten minutes.

Ultimately, we never received any support from GoDaddy, despite waiting for an absolutely excessive amount of time. The consequence is that for many users, this isn’t just a removal of email support, it’s a removal of any and all support that isn’t phone-based. And the telephone support that is offered warns of regular half hour waiting period before support can be received.

The bottom line is that there is rarely a benefit in removing features, especially something as basic and critical as email support. Customers shouldn’t be expected to make time for GoDaddy- a service-oriented provider should make time for its customers. At least give clients a pay to play option!

The importance of GoDaddy means there could be far wider consequences for this feature removal than just the GoDaddy site itself. MediaTemple, for example, was recently acquired by GoDaddy. The question has to be asked, what does this mean for the future of email support there, also?

We've contacted Media Temple (mt) (editor's note.. Nick should have used the live chat!) to get their take on the matter.

Media Temple Hosting